Happy New Year from the Finn Class. 2024 is going to be rather special for many reasons, but chiefly because it is the classes 75th anniversary. The Finn class is buzzing right now and it's an exciting time to be involved.

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75 years ago, in Uppsala, Sweden, in 1949, the first ever Finn hit the water. Three years later Rickard Sarby's design was used at the first of 18 Olympics Games. For 69 years the Finn was the greatest ambassador for Olympic sailing and the best of the Olympic classes, producing some of the biggest legends in the sport of sailing. In 2024 the class is celebrating 75 years of first-class racing with a history and a pedigree second to none.
 
75tthlogo copyMuch is planned for the year ahead, but to start the year, we talked to the President of the International Finn Association, Rob McMillan, now in his second term, on his long association with the class and its sailors, while looking forward to the anniversary year.
 
He began by looking back at 2023. He said, “We ran some fantastic events in 2023, despite some challenges with the weather. We’ve got an improved presence on social media, we are aspiring to connect our community together and to engage the younger end of our community, but that remains a work in progress. One of the big decisions was going to Miami for the Finn Gold Cup in January 2023 and that was very successful. We can see the growth and enthusiasm of the American fleet and they are now in a very healthy position with lots of enthusiastic sailors.
 
“I think as an executive committee we’ve put together a great calendar for the years ahead and we continue to attract sailors into the class, and the events are great people are loving their Finn sailing, builders are busy, so from my perspective, while I think there is a lot more work to do, we are trending in the right direction.
 
“For me the most important things are keeping together as a community and building the brand about the prestige of our events. Being the world champion in the Finn is an amazing achievement and needs to remain one of the greatest achievements in sailing. And to do that we need to sustain the level of competition and to do that we ned to keep bringing people into the class. Whether they are U23, U30, U40, U50 or even legends. We need to bring in people that want to compete, enjoy it, and engage with their fellow Finn sailors, wherever they are and do that in the confidence that when they invest in the Finn it’s a very solid investment. That’s what every member of the executive wants to maintain. The concept of stewardship is very important to all of us.”
 
The major events in 2024 take place in Punta Ala, Aarhus and Cannes.
  
“Looking ahead at the calendar for 2024, we have a fantastic year ahead. Puntala is an amazing resort, on the beach, great water, wind and waves, and we’re all going to be together. I don’t think you can ask for more. It’s going to be a huge event. Andy and the Masters team are doing a fantastic job.”
 
Already the entry for the Finn World Masters is almost 200 boats, the first time this has happened post-covid. The Notice of Race and entry form can be found on the event website: finnworldmasters.com

“Further in the year, we have the Finn Gold Cup in Aarhus, out of the Danish Sailing Centre. I can foresee a very good competition, very accessible and very well timed, so we should get many there and the talk in the boat park, even in Australia, is very positive. 
 
“Cannes for the Europeans will be huge. Great location, late in the year, Cannes has a great historic connection with the Finn class, running the Cannes Ski yachting event in the 1980s, which was always the first major Finn regatta of the year. It’s going to be an amazing event.
 
“It looks like it’s going to be a really great year.”
 
Listen to the full #FINNTALKS here…https://youtu.be/OR7F4OXqxQo

17 Rob

© 2024, International Finn Association, Inc